Friday, December 21, 2007

Look alike meter...

My SIL did this on her blog and I thought it would be fun to do it here too. Everyone one says, "Samantha looks sooo much like Jamie" and this agrees, but it's only by 4%. That's not nearly the % I hear when people say that.

And Jack...

Whatever! Michael and I have decided it's random. Fun, but random! :)

Merry Christmas, Everyone!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

My favorite Christmas song

Well Michael and AJ have posted Christmas related songs on their blogs so I thought I would add my favorite song.

Here ya go: Mary, did you know?

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Thought some of you might like to see this...

Our little artist

It's been a hoot watching Samantha's artistic ability change and mature. These are portraits of her RoRo and PawPaw. I know that you will immediately recognize them if you meet them on the street!

Notice the short boy hair and facial hair on PawPaw, and one boob on RoRo! She must have gotten distracted before she finished RoRo. Or maybe it's the necklace that RoRo wears and has promised Samantha when she dies? Really, who can read the mind of a five year old? :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A singing montage

Play list (in case you can't translate two year old singing)

A trip to the farm

Thursday I had the pleasure of joining Samantha's pre-school class at the Dewberry Farm out west of Houston. It was a cool, sunny, breezy day and we had a really great time. Here are the pics from our day.

hay bale climbing (this was weird to was just hay arrange around a pole and it was sooo fun? Samantha decided it wasn't sooo fun after she got a foot to the cheek. I had to ask one of the other moms, "How do you know if you've broken your face?" Luckily, none of her answer transpired for Samantha.)

a train pulled by a tractor

a hay ride to the pumpkin patch, where you could pick (up, not actually pick it off the plant) a tee-tiny pumpkin to take home

two different play ground areas (one was called Fort DooHickey...only in Texas)

the "other" playground

a tee-tiny barn with chickens, turkeys, rabbits and goats you could feed

a funny slide that was made of capped PVC pipes...quite bumpy on the booty, fun for the kids, NO fun for the mommies as another mom could atest
It was such a fun day that I considered taking Jack, and my good friend and her kids back on Monday but at $10/person, I decided that might be a bit much. So we are praying for good zoo weather tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

School worries

Well, the Vanguard Magnet Program process has just begun and I am WAY stressing about it. I toured a school today that we are really excited about (hopefully Michael will tour on Thursday) and it was pretty impressive and emotional (for me, I am sure Michael won't have tears in his eyes as he tours :)).

The impressive part
  • the curriculum and academic work that they displayed
  • every teacher there is certified to teach the "gifted and talented" children
  • they have a language immersion program where they teach children to read, write and speak fluently in English and Spanish by the third grade (3 children from this program got up and read a speech that they wrote for themselves in one language and then translated it into the front of us. AMAZING)
  • they have "student competitions" that they encourage everyone to participate in, but by third grade you have to pick at least one to join. The choices range from spelling bee to science fair, to math minders (or some such thing), etc, etc.
  • they have a cool garden mostly managed by the kiddos; they encourage teachers to build it into their curriculum whether it's measure the height of the flower, to watching paper decompose.
  • the HISD bond fund just passed and this school is slotted to be re-built within the next five years and maybe next year.
The emotional part
  • I really could see Samantha as a Kindergartener today. I was overflowing with pride for her because of what a good girl she is and just how far she's had to come since I first met her...not that all kindergarteners haven't come that far, but never my first born.
  • I am really anxious about the whole school thing though because as a child I NEVER operated from a place of strength in school. I feel like I had to work HARD to scrape out every B I got. When I tried to attend 1st grade, the school really wanted me to re-do Kindergarten but Mom and Dad pitched a big enough fit that they let me proceed. So, I guess I am a little jittery about the testing that will have to occur for her to get into this program.
  • Pretty soon I am going to have to send my precious little one into the big, bad world where I have little control...and that scares me a LOT.
I recently finished reading ScreamFree Parenting and what I learned is that to produce self-directed, confident, successful children I need to settle myself down and grow up. For Jack and Samantha to be what I want them to be they need me to operate out of my highest principles rather than my deepest fear. So, if you see me nonchalantly talking to Samantha about all of this, just know that I am crying desperately inside as I don't feel equipped make such hard and life altering decisions for her. Know that I struggle every day to find the right amount of grip to keep on her close to me and protected and still allow her to flourish and grow as God intends for her.

Parenting is HARD work and can be totally exhausting, but I thank God for Samantha and Jack and the things that I learn from them everyday.

Later taters!

Friday, October 26, 2007

It's my potty...

and we certainly gave it our best shot, but I am thinking he isn't physically ready. His pee pee just trickles out constantly. I probably have at least 12 pairs of his new, cool underwear being washed right now...and that's just from this morning. I wash and dried 4 pairs last night.

We did have some success at getting it in the potty but we definitely had MORE accidents than we had success. We'll see how much stamina I have after nap to see if we continue this craziness.

He was pretty proud after he pottied in the right spot and his reward for getting it in there was a sucker. So, at one point today he had a sucker in his mouth, a jacket with hood in place, underwear (only, no pants), and his green crocs. It was pretty cute!

Days like today are the exact reason I don't keep chocolate around!

I'm off to chill out and relax while the kids are down.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The sweetest babies you have ever seen

We had the kids pictures made at school a couple of weeks ago, so I thought I would share them here.

Samantha: beautiful as always!

Mr. Jack: not so happy :(

Now, I have already had to buy the prints that I wanted, so the point is probably moot. But still my question remains: what is the standard for buying and sharing picts where one kid is beautiful and the other is a dud?

I have more pics on my camera, but I am just not as dedicated as AJ is, so you'll just have to wait. :)

Later taters!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

It's official...

Amber is the winner! Yeah Amber! Your points are not in the mail, so just go on with your life like you never won anything. :)

Round two:
Moow, meanie, meanie
Every dog, every dog, boo

I'll give you a hint...we went to see the singers in concert. Really, if you get this you get a million meaningless points. Good luck!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Wilsons play our own version of

Singing Bee and we wanted to see if you could name that tune based on Jack's version of the song. Here goes:

If you like to smarck with a tatoes,
up and down the pro-juice isle
got a show fa you.

1000 meaningless points to the first correct guess.

Monday, October 08, 2007

My sweet sister-in-law...

tagged me for a dissertation on "My Man." I couldn't be any more proud to tell you about the man I married! Here we go!

1. Who is your man? Michael

2. How long have you been together? We met the fall of 1995 and have been together since November-ish figure it out. :)

3. How long did you date? a little over 3 years

4. How old is your man? 31...have I mentioned that he's older than me! :)

5. Who eats more? In general, Michael. But if we are talking about specific foods (like dessert), I have NO problem holding my own...unfortunately!

6. Who said "I love you" first? Not a clue, but I would guess me.

7. Who is taller? Michael: he's 6' 3" ish and I'm 5' 6" on a good day.

8. Who sings better? Michael. There's nothing more romantic or utterly heart-melting than to hear a man sing to his children.

9. Who is smarter? Michael, in almost every aspect of life, except for fixing things, and then he'd be clueless if it weren't for the internet! :)

10. Whose temper is worse? We are equally bad at this. Although, I will say that we are both making great strides in calming ourselves.

11. Who does the laundry? Me. I think he stopped helping when I mentioned that some clothes needed to be pre-treated prior to washing and drying them. He's pretty good at helping me get them put away though, and that's a big help.

12. Who takes out the garbage? This really is a family project. Either Michael or I get the kitchen bag gathered up and removed, Samantha gets and opens the new bag, places it in and Jack puts the top back on! Michael is as good at taking it out as he is at packing it down so that it will last another day. :)

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? When laying in bed, I'm on the right. But when in a hotel, Michael sleeps between me and the door...whatever side that happens to be.

14. Who pays the bills? Another shared task. 98% of our bills are paid online...the bigger ones like our CC payments he kind of manages and the smaller, dinky ones, I pay.

15. Who is better with the computer? I would say me, just because I had enough hours in college to be a CS minor. Also, part of my job before kids was managing the network/computer/technical side of our business.

16. Who mows the lawn? Michael mows and I weed-eat. Although, I will say I believe I noticed (but didn't say thanks, sorry, Honey) that Michael mowed the entire lawn and weedeated/edged the front yard! Thanks, I noticed!!

17. Who cooks dinner? Mostly me. But on the days that I can tell spending 1-on-1 time with the kids for a prolonged period isn't going to go well, I let Michael cook. I almost always have the supplies and idea ready for him to implement.

18. Who drives when you are together? Michael.

19. Who pays when you go out? The one left at the table.

20. Who is most stubborn? Wow, now that's a hard one, probably me.

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Michael. We have a "make it right" policy at our house, where we try to avoid saying "I'm sorry." In making it right, you have to ask for forgiveness which can either be granted or denied. It's MUCH easier to forgive and move on when you have previously had grace extended to you!

22. Whose parents do you see the most? Mine...they live 3 doors down from us.

23. Who kissed who first? Michael, and I was dying for him to do it! :)

24. Who asked who out? Michael was sold on the first hello...I on the other hand took a few months longer. We went out on several double dates with our roommates who were pitiful. Somehow, Michael ended paying for all those dates as well! Thank goodness for donating plasma (they paid us money that we blew immediately on our meal)!

25. Who proposed? Michael did. It was quite a surprise to me and unfortunately I had slathered on baby oil or something prior to laying out, which is where he found me.

26. Who is more sensitive? Me

27. Who has more friends? I probably have more friends that I physically see everyday, but we both have about the same amount of virtual friends.

28. Who has more siblings? We each have on brother...mine older, his younger.

29. Who wears the pants in the family? On day to day stuff, me. On larger stuff, I try very hard to leave that to him...I don't want all the responsibility of ruining our lives! haha!

Here are some of my favorite pics of Michael...

This post drives it home again how nice it would be to have a professional family photo!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"The Mommy/Daddy Difference" and "The Lies We Tell our Children"

School (a "Mother's Day Out" program at our old church; two days a week) started the first Tuesday in September. Jack is in the "younger two's" class and has made the adjustment quite quickly. Yesterday when I dropped him off there were no tears, and only a little freak out because another kid was screaming her head off. Yeah, Jack. It's working out great: the kids get to be with other kids (not each other), new toys, and Mommy gets to be away for Mommy time. The only problem is at night: every night that it's my turn to put Jack to bed, I have to lie to him, sort of. I guess this is because he's being separated from me during the day...I dunno. But as I lay him down he asks, "Can you sit?" Which means, will you sit in here until I fall asleep? The first week, I was very obliging; I totally got that he didn't want to be left alone after spending the majority of the day away from me. But then when it continued for me (and he's NEVER asked Michael to "sit"), the answer that just flew out of my mouth: Mommy has to go to bed, too. Now he asks me, "Mommy, you go to bed now too?" It's that "now" word that is tripping me up. I am taking it to mean "after I go to bed" not "immediately".

Honestly though, why only ask me? Why not Michael, too? We trade off nights putting each kid down, so every other night he needs someone to sit??? Whassup wit dat???

The other Mommy/Daddy difference is with Samantha. Daddy does the "Super bunny hop" into bed, and it has been requested that I do it. WHAT?? Honestly, after all the fun things I do that he never gets requested to do... Anyway, I averted that one by saying I wasn't as strong as Daddy and couldn't do it as fun as he does.

Finally, after 4.5 years, she asked him last night at the supper table if he could do a "good prayer tonight, instead of a silly one." FINALLY! Mommy measures up! :) Just kidding!

A swimming update...
Jack is now going to swim class without crying and has done the "big slide" (by himself) every time they've offered it to him. Last week he even asked if he could do it again! Go Jackie Boy!

And Samantha! All I have to say is that you have to see it to believe it! She is amazingly fast and it getting so coordinated in the water. It's a beautiful site! She probably swam 4-5 laps today: freestyle and back stroke. They're also working on the butterfly and on breast stroke. I am WAY thinking that next summer she's going to be on (and love) swim team.

School update...
We've picked a school for Samantha to go all we have to do is have her tested (I feel certain that she can pass any thing they throw at her, for heaven's sake she's reading already and their goal is that she be reading by the end of Kindergarten) and win the lottery (if there are more candidates that pass the test, than spots then they determine the winner by lottery). The process starts in November so we still have plenty of time.

We've checked out the school and it looks GREAT! Test scores are amazing, it is diverse and it's close to our house. When we mentioned it to a friend who's a teacher in a neighboring district, he raved about it for 5 minutes and said they moved into the neighborhood so that his kids could go to that school specifically.

Guess that's about it. Later taters!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A little rant...

There's this woman and her child that attend swim class at the same time as me and my kids. This is the third week that I have seen the mother do the most infuriating thing: give her kid TWO lollipops out of the basket (each kid is supposed to get one) because the kid screams and cries when she "tries" to give her one. Today the thing that made me most aggravated was that the mother looks around at all the rest of us (mothers who have kids with ONE pop) and starts asking what to do. One woman says, "Just don't give her another" and I say, "In my house if one isn't good enough, you don't get any." For about 10 seconds she takes the one lollipop away from her (which makes more crying...DUH), and then proceeds to ask the lifeguard to get her another pop so that she'll quit crying. HELLO?! Anyone home??? Why should your kid ever quit crying for two, if you're only going to give her what she wants? Is that your job in life, to give her whatever she wants, 'cause Life isn't always going to give her what she wants, and your job is to train her to survive Life away from you? Are you really giving her a fair shake?

AND what if we all gave our kids two pops? Swim club would then have to buy TWICE as many as they do now; not a big deal in the big scheme of life, but seriously, get a back bone, Lady.

And (hopefully the last thing), think outside the box, Lady! Don't force swim club to provide for your inability to make the rule stick: bring her a pop from your own house. And one way to break her of this is to leave the lollipop in the car and she gets it when she gets there. Truthfully I could go on, but the key was that she doesn't get told "No" at home, so why work on the lollipop issue if you aren't going to work on the whole balleywick?

p.s. Jack went to swim class by himself today and went down the big slide!!! (but I missed it because I was trying to get their other swim class scheduled, so so sad!) He did great as far as I could tell. I did hear some crying, but it was more fussing than screaming crying. Yeah Jack!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Lord Jesus Christ

For several weeks Samantha and Jack have been leading our prayer for supper, most of the time it's a chain prayer minus the chain. Samantha has added two different and cute phrases into hers and Jack is now copying Sissy. "Thank you for the Lord Jesus Christ" and "Thank you for this food that nourishes our bodies." Thank goodness she doesn't say "Father God" otherwise you all might think we've become Baptists! :)

Not until yesterday were we really ready for school to start. I don't know what changed, but I felt like it happened for both Samantha and me. We've had a really good summer together, but now it's time for Mommy to have a little Mommy-time and Sissy to have some Sissy-time.

Until yesterday, I was fighting charges on Jack's medical bills from the intusesseption back in April. I finally got someone to tell me what two charges were, they had different (but similar) names cost the same. Come to find out we paid $567 for Barium and $567 for the Enema...for three vials of barium we paid $567. I find that to be excessive especially since on the 2nd time we had the procedure it was done with air which thankfully cost us nothing (the air, that is). So, yesterday I was ALL HOT and BOTHERED, until it dawned on me that we had charges well over our deductible (amazing considering how high our deductible is) so we would have paid that money anyway, whether it was for Barium or Doctors or Medicine, it's still $$ out of our pocket. So I have officially relented and am going to leave this topic alone until next year when we have to start our deductible again.

I recently finished "The Kite Runner" and I really enjoyed reading it. The subject matter was tough for me, but seeing the main character find redemption was rewarding. It taught me some more about Middle Eastern culture...of which I know very little.

Now I've moved on the Harry Potter -- The Half Blooded Prince so that I can remember what happened before I move on to the final book. Michael got book 7 for his birthday, but if he doesn't get busy reading it, I'll have to steal it off his nightstand!

Praying, part deux
Baby Ethan seems to be struggling pretty good right now. If you pray, would you please include him in your prayers.

Later taters!

Monday, August 20, 2007


We've been using the "naughty place" (thank you Super Nanny) with Jack for several months now, but lately we've not been getting the correct answer for "Why did you go to the naughty place?" His de facto answer is, "Because I scream at Mommy/Daddy."

Tonight the offense was drinking the bath water. He'd been told MULTIPLE times to stop doing it and he kept after it. So, Daddy pulled him out of the tub and Mommy rinsed his head in the shower (not his favorite). After rinsing, we (mainly I) was trying to discuss with Jack why he'd been pulled out of the tub. He gave his standard answer (because I scream) and I informed him that it was not that, but that he kept drinking tub water. He looked at me dead in the eye and said, "Dat's not fa-ir." How I kept it together after that I don't know, but we finished the talk with no laughing outbursts and he got a drink of water out of the CLEAN cup from the sink.

The other conversation that we've been having lately is about monsters under the bed...thank you Chick-fil-a. Chick-fil-a handed out the "Junie B. Jones and the Monster Under Her Bed" audio book. It has become a favorite of Samantha's and although he isn't scared while he's listening to the story it MUST be having an impact on Jack because he mentions it two or three times during the day.

Bless his little pea-pickin' heart!

Our MOST exciting thing coming up is this Sunday we are taking the kids to see The Wiggles concert...and they have NO idea! We're keeping it a secret until after their nap on Sunday (otherwise they'll be unbearable to live with this week). We really have become quite the Wiggles fans lately. This summer we have purchased 3 music cds and 1 (soon to be two) DVD. I am thinking I'll be figuring out a dog bone for Wags and roses for Dorothy undercover this week. Should be fun!

Gotta run! Later taters!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cool calendar sayings

Michael buys me a daily calendar for my kitchen every year at Christmas. This year's calendar was about being a mom. I have trouble keeping up with it everyday, so once or twice a month Michael will tear off a bunch, leaving the good ones for me to read. The last "catch-up day" I had the honors of selecting the ones I liked the most and I thought I would share them with you.

There's no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one. Jill Churchill

Phyllis Diller claims her husband Fang called the hospital to report she was in labor. The nurse asked him, "Is this her first child?" "NO," Fang answered. "This is her husband."

One evening, Carly's husband Sean received a phone call requesting he attend an important business meeting the following morning in New York. It meant e would miss their daughters Tali's soccer game. He quickly packed, kissed Carly and their sleeping seven-year-old goodbye, and drive to the airport. The next evening, Sean, who was the volunteer assistant coach, called to find out how Tali and her team did. With Carly and Tali on the phone, they told him the team had won. Sean said, "I'm sorry I couldn't be there." Tali replied, "That's okay, Daddy. I told the team that you left us in the middle of the night."

There is a power that comes to women when they give birth. They don't ask for it, it simply invades them. Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it. Sheryl Feldman

When asked what love is, six-year-old Clare said, "It's when Mommy gives Daddy the biggest piece of chicken, and he gives her the biggest piece of chocolate cake."

Hope these give you a chuckle and/or a bit of inspiration for the week ahead!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Bronchitis, vacation, and allergies

Well, it's official: all the coughing and fever at the lake is indeed bronchitis. Tuesday night I started running fever for the second time (it had been a week since I ran it the first time) and was informed that if I didn't agree to go willingly to the after hours clinic that I would be hogtied and forced to go by the three adults surrounding me. Needless to say, I went willingly.

The triage nurse said, "I can hear you wheezing from over hear!" and last night as I was laying in bed Michael could hear the paper-crunching noise emitted as I breathed. Apparently, I really was/am sick! Who woulda thought!? :)

Can I just say that we had the most wonderful time on vacation? The only glitch we as a family unit experienced was Jack's sleep disturbances. Not sure why, but he would wake up and cry out for any number of things: Mommy, Daddy, Sissy, etc, etc. And he would do it for hours!

We've discussed several times: "What was your favorite part?" and I think my absolute favorite part was seeing Samantha enjoy the lake so much. Once she figured out that her life jacket was going to keep her afloat, she must have jumped off the dock into the water 100 times. She loved it! And she was totally set to try tubing behind the boat, but the water was too choppy that evening and it was our last night together so we'll have to try it another time. I LOVE to see her so brave and trying new things especially in the water as it is a pretty big fear of mine.

AJ has all her pictures already up, but I am not nearly as fast as she is. They are downloaded and edited on the desktop, but I am stuck on the couch with my laptop (that bronchitis thing ,you know). Pictures will come soon, I promise!

Tuesday morning was a "testing" appointment for Samantha to look at Fall allergies, and things she tested negatively to last time, and things like cats and dogs. She tested positive for quite a few airborne allergies, cats, and a major one (that she was negative on at 2 years old) was dust mites. He was fairly concerned about her being on the "allergic march" from food allergies, to airborne pollens to respiratory trouble like asthma. But since she's only had one ear infection in two years and no other respiratory illnesses, he was encouraged NOT to put her on the weekly immuno therapy shots.

The kicker of the entire appointment came when Doc casually mentioned her being off her Zyrtec for the testing and I freaked out...I had totally forgotten to discontinue use of her meds. So, let me connect those dots for you: she had major reactions to several things WHILE she's taking her allergy medicine (an adult dose), which should have knocked everything down and suppressed any reaction. It was really sad for me to figure out how allergic she is; I had tears in my eyes for the rest of our discussion.

The other big thing of this appointment was how brave she was. She cried as the nurse scratcher her back and poked her arm, but she NEVER tried to pull away from me and she only screamed once or twice. Once the scratching/poking was done she stopped crying and we went on to watch the movie she'd picked out. She's an AWESOME girl!!

Think that's all from here for now!

Later taters!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

And another thing

We went back for the one month check-up with Samantha's allergy doctor and the news on peanuts was not good. They did a blood RAST test which measure allergies on a one to six scale. I am putting a couple of things together when I tell you this, but they count "things" in your blood and the number of things makes you either a one, two, three, etc. But they stop counting at 100, that's too high to count and you are REALLY allergic if they get to 100. Well, guess what? Samantha's a six on peanuts, and they stopped counting at 100. Wooopppeeee! Her levels for pecans and walnuts (tree nuts) was a five. Another wooopppeee!

We're going to do another round of scratch testing (where they literally scratch her back with something that has the allergen on it; nice, huh?) in a month to see where she is with the cats (if they are causing any problems they are Gandhi; just like last summer when we thought they had given Jack cat scratch fever)and some pollen things she didn't respond to last time (when she was two). This should be suuuupppper fun now that she's four. Can you hear the excitement in my voice!?

Bless her little pea picking heart! I really feel terrible for her, but truthfully she's doing great on her Zyrtec and really she isn't a sickly kid. She just has a super hyper vigilant immune system, which messes with her skin.

Oh yeah....I turn 30 this month! AAAAKKKKKKK!!!!

Remember when I said...

I'd bitten off more than I could chew with working and 2 weeks of VBS? Well, I was right--it was too much for all of us. Ends up we've ALL been sick at some point the last two weeks. Nice. Both kids with fever (Jack doing his best to get it REALLY high again), Michael and Jack with snots, mom and kids with tummy troubles, blah, blah, blah. The good news is that I play a pretty cool camel and that we're headed out of town this week to go visit the Great Grandparents in Arkansas.

The first two nights of the camel puppet were downers because you couldn't hear me...not because my mouth isn't big enough, there were just too many kids and the microphones weren't working. But once we got that worked out, nights three and four were a hoot. Spitting and everything. Amy (their children's minister) and I make a really good team. Can I tell you that I miss my friends, my sisters and my brothers at that church? I do like where we are, and I am certain that in time I will grow to love them like I do West U, but I'm not there, yet.

I think Jack is playing the part of a two year old QUITE well. All in one breath he can yell, "I want applejuice; I don't want applejuice; I want applejuice!!!" The cool thing is that there's no response needed from me...I can't get a word in edgewise.

We are learning to use manners when requesting something (he's always been good at saying "thank you").

The "bad pwace" is a nice tool in my tool belt: after he's finished he can TOTALLY tell you why he was put in there: "Because I scream at Mommy" or "Because I hit Sissy and no say I sorry."

He's the sweetest little critter on the planet, but I am certain that Michael is ready for us to do some travelling, 'cause when he's home Jack sticks to him like glue!! Super glue at that.

Well, it's super late and I have a ton to do tomorrow to get us ready for our trip. If you pray, please remember Michael's grandmother as she's having knee replacement surgery tomorrow, pray for Ethan Powell, Bob needs a job (I haven't forgotten that you haven't responded to my tag, yet) and for the sickies in Houston! :)

Later taters!

Friday, June 08, 2007

I've been delayed...

Well, my mother-in-law tagged me which means that I have to now post seven things you may not know about me. I've been delayed in posting this for two reasons (1) I've been REALLY busy with the aforementioned teaching and VBS'ing (2) I'm pretty sure there's nothing that you don't already know. :) But I am going to give my best shot, because I promised Michael I would tag him and he's nagging me about it! hahaha! Just kidding, he did take some playful pot shots at me though!

  1. When I grow up I want to be a Certified Nurse Midwife/Fitness Expert or at the least a REALLY good doula. I really REALLY believe in the power of a woman in her body and in her spirit. A bumper sticker that I saw in my midwives' office sums it up pretty well for me: "Women of earth, take back your birth." I truly believe God created us to be strong and courageous and he programmed our bodies to do what HE created it to do. In my old age (hehe), I am becoming less and less judgemental and more and more determined to make myself fully educated on this topic so that I can educate others. It inspires me! :)
  2. I TRULY enjoy taking long road trips with my children. Don't get me wrong, there are some hairy points in every trip, but I love that I get to show them their world.
  3. Home to me is where my family is. I live three doors down from my parents and I live in the same house as the other "Michael Wilsons." In the four years that we have lived in this house, I have painted (count it with me now...) ONE wall. I have hung some pictures and curtains (where necessary), but I look around and see how (relatively) quickly we could leave here and go to some other home and I would be perfectly happy...'cause I am with my home when I am with Michael, Samantha and Jack.
  4. I have AWFUL washing machine karma. I've been the owner of a washer and dryer set for 4 years (exactly four years ago this month we moved in here! cool!) and I've already had to completely replace one washer. The BRAND SPANKING NEW ONE that we bought in February is already crapping out on me! And here's the nuttiest's the exact same problem (the timer isn't advancing) as the other machine. Truthfully, we are wondering if there is something in the electrical outlet that is shorting it out or something.
  5. In high school, I was the manager and statistician of the varsity volleyball team. I really wanted to play and the P.E. coach talked me into trying out for the team, but when I went it was OBVIOUS to me and her that I wasn't even close to being able to compete with these girls so she asked me if I would be their manager. My parents were cool with it, so I said yes. It was a REALLY awesome time for me as I had just broken up with a long term boyfriend and had virtually NO other friends. I felt extremely out of place, but the girls were sweet and accepted me as much as I put myself out there. I got to letter two years in a row because I was the manager.
  6. I was born in Westin, West Virginia and my mom says that I was the only good thing to come out of W. Virginia...she's a southeast Texas girl through and through. :)
  7. I LOVE to do "projects." The first project I really remember having a major part in was rebuilding what would soon be my first vehicle: a wrecked (by my older brother) Chevy S-10 pickup truck. Craig wrecked it the winter of 1992 (I think) and it sat in my parents drive way until the spring when Dad decided that he and I should fix it up for my first car. It was a stick shift and I was SUPER cool 'cause I could drive it pretty well! :)

Whew! I can't believe I actually came up with seven...hopefully some of them are a suprise to some of you???

Now comes the fun part: Michael and Bob you're IT!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


What a day! What a day! Samantha has pretty yucky she'll claw off her feet when they get fired up. Well, we ran out of the Rx hydro cortisone cream so off we went to the Allergy Doc today to get a refill (we hadn't been in 15 months so they wouldn't call one in for us). He wasn't really thrilled to see us in that her allergies aren't getting any better and when they don't grow out of them it generally turns to asthma and starts internalizing and affecting the pulmonary system...not news the mommy wanted to hear. We're going for a blood test this afternoon so that we can start monitoring the levels of her allergies for future reference.

We came home with Zyrtec twice a day (an adult dose), two different creams (one for her face and one for her body) and one more over the counter, general body cream. Yikes!

The good news: "God protects the children" the doctor said. That was in reference to her reaction to nuts; he said that the life threatening responses don't normally start until around twelve--until then they normally throw it up and break out in hives. Another good thing is that since Jack decided to get intasesseption twice and stay overnight at TCH we've met our deductible for the year so the entire rest of the year is covered for all of us...Rx and Doctors! YAHOOO!

Michael also got good and bad news yesterday on his eyes. His right eye is still very dry and made no progress this last month, so they (the doctor who did the lasik surgery) referred him to the dry-eye specialist in Houston. Lucky for us our health insurance will cover it so we are definitely going to take them up on this new treatment plan.

Finally on the doctor front, Jack's "puncture wound" bill came in and the Doctor's visit alone was $126!!! That was ONE HUNDRED TWENTY SIX DOLLARS for 5 minutes and half of that time was spent filling out paperwork. It took literally 1 minute to put the Dermabond on and I think it took one and a half minutes for the nurses and I to blow his head dry. Dude...that's a lot of money for $ I called them today to see if they'll reduce it. I have my fingers crossed.

Well, that's been my's yours?? :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Where's Redwifey?

Well, a lot of places actually! Sorry it's been so long since I've's been a bit more nutty than usual. In late April, I agreed to teach the two year old class at the Mother's Day Out where Samantha and Jack attend. My friend, the Director, was in a bit of a pinch and made a desperate call asking me to finish the school year out for her. She's pulled me out of a few pinches so I immediately said yes. Yesterday was the last day of school, and I was glad for that.

The trick is that before I agreed to teach in May, I agreed to teach in the summer program. It's only three hours a day instead of five like the normal school year. This works out a lot better for me because I can come home and catch a few minutes of Mommy-time while the kids are resting. All of this works out to mean little to no Mommy time this summer, but Michael's taken care of that already!

I got the BEST Mother's day present I've ever gotten: a four day trip by myself to my best friends house in Arkansas!!! I'm saving it for the end of June (I think) after VBS is over. Which leads me to my next topic: VBS.

I am currently heavily involved in our new church's VBS planning (as in I got the curriculum for them from our old church and now I'm helping them implement it) and in our old church: they have a puppet show at the end and I'm the puppet. Last year I was a fish puppet and this year I'll be a camel. Oh yeah, I found out yesterday, that I'll be in the two year old class with Jack at our old church. Ohhhhh doggy!

I may have bitten off a little more than I can chew, but at least I have a wonderful husband that has agreed that our Maria (my house cleaner and my sanity saviour) can come weekly and not bi-weekly. Thank you Michael!!!!!

Oh yeah! We also had Michael's family two weekends in a row. It was GREAT to have both of them (Grandparents and Parents) in our home. We don't have a ton of room in our home, but we squooshed everyone around and no one slept on the floor so I think it was doable for the weekend?

This past Monday, I took the kids to get their teeth cleaned...there was plenty of crying and pinning Jack down, but we got the job done...and afterward they were beggggging to go swim at the Y. So, in my best flexible-let's-have-fun-Mom voice I said, "SURE!" and I can tell you that we will definitely be doing that again. It was SSOO fun, and Samantha had the best spirit when we had to leave. I was super-duper proud of her.

Well, we're back in the pool today for swim class, so I've gotta get ready and packed. Later taters!!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

More on Jack's sleeping

Jack's sleeping has definitely improved. I am not sure if he was feeling bad before we left for our LR trip, but he sure sleeping HORRIBLY! But since he's gotten over this virus we are MUCH improved. He generally is still waking up in the morning a little early, but we have a system now: I go in (and if he's not poopy) I cover him back up and sit in the recliner that's in there and we both go back to sleep. Sometimes he asks: "Mommy, can you help me?" and holds his blanket up for me to cover him. It is the sweetest sweetest thing!

One hospital story that I haven't shared, that has shaped my thinking some is that he fell asleep in his hospital bed all by himself FOUR different times during the night that we were there. I wasn't touching him and wasn't very close to the crib. I was in the chair next to him, and he could see me, but we were certainly separate.

That really proved to me that he knew how to go to sleep on his own, but something was definitely bothering him at home. I think the ceiling fan blowing on him might have been making him stuffy and sleeping with his mouth open, thus slobbering allllllll over his bed and waking up in a pool of wet: YUCK! I wouldn't like that either.

The other thing that has kept him in his own bed is that in Little Rock, when he was waking and crying 3-4 times a night, we put him in our king sized bed and he continued to cry. So that meant to me that something else was wrong and I just hadn't put my finger on it. Especially since we don't have a king bed at home, we certainly don't have room in our bed. ;)

All of those different things have led me to these conclusions:
  1. When Jack is well, he sleeps well. When he doesn't sleep well, I should pay more attention and know that he something is probably up with him.
  2. When Jack wakes up too early in the morning, I can still make it possible for us both to get what we need by sleeping in the recliner. This also helps Samantha get the sleep she needs as we aren't up and around before 7ish. He is progressively getting closer to 7 anyway, so it is working.
  3. Surely he won't be sleeping this poorly in High School, so we just have a few more years left. :)

Anyway, tonight we had a GREAT evening; we went to the park and had a picnic supper with ice cream to follow. It was super.

Later Taters!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

On motherhood

It is an interesting beast; it's so amazing how in one day you can go through sooo many different emotions (worry, intense worry, angry on their behalf, pain, relief, joy, exhaustion) about the same people. It's quite the roller coaster...until you decide to get off. Every once in a while, I just jump off the coaster for my own sanity's sake...the stability of being in the middle emotionally is a blessing and it comes only by choice. Thankfully the crisis for our family seems to be subsiding, although Michael is revving things up at work so that will bring a whole new bucket of worms to sort through. But Jack's not running fever any more, he just didn't get there soon enough to go to school today...I'm hoping for Thursday.

Fever is not a's a good thing. It indicates that your baby is fighting some bug or illness which is good: that's what we want. After a discussion with my pediatrician yesterday, I've boiled fever down to this: how does my baby feel when the fever comes down? If he's still lethargic and complaining of pain then we should see the doc, otherwise it's best to let the body do it's thang.

I am brand new to the world of wound care. It seems as though if the sides of the wound are "approximate" (this apparently is the technical term for whether or not the skin is touching) and it stops bleeding then no sutures are necessary (maybe?). But if they are not approximate then sutures or Dermabond are needed.

We needed Dermabond yesterday for the first time: Jack fell of our bed and konked his melon on the corner of Michael's nightstand. I think the thing that got Jack most mad was that the wash rag fell over his face while I was stopping the blood.

Here's the ultimate question: why does my kid wake up and not go back to sleep? Dr. Ferber talks a lot about sleep associations and as MUCH as I try not to let Jack fall asleep on me I think he's still doing it and this maybe why he's having trouble. He's taking CRAZY short naps after having a hard night the night before. I also know that sleep begets sleep, so I've been trying to help him finish his nap so that the nights aren't so hard, but I think I maybe just throwing fuel on the fire.

For a while, I think I am going to try modify our routine and see if I can't help him fall asleep in his bed and not on me (or Michael).

Old routine: Lamp on for books, Light off for songs and rocking, then he used to say "I Ready" and we'd lay him down, but I think he's just falling asleep while rocking.

New routine: Lamp on for books, and songs. Little to no rocking. Hugs and kisses, then laying him in bed.

It really isn't that different, but if I can make a little change and get a big result I am all for that! :)

"Mommy, what does that sign say?" I am hearing this more and more. I am pretty sure that in a month she'll pick up a simple book and starting reading (not memorizing books like she's done for four years) to herself. It's amazing to watch her work!!

Gotta run!


Wednesday, March 28, 2007's been so long, I almost forgot my login!

Just kidding! Sorry it's taken sooo long to write an update.

We've been to RoRo and PawPaw's house and to Sea World since I've written. Both were great trips! The kids are really getting used to traveling and I think they are enjoying it as much as I am. We did take Daddy on our Sea World trip (since he booked it, it was the least we could do! :)), and we certainly did it in style. Friday evening we got to eat RIGHT BESIDE the killer whale pools. It was awesome!!!! The have a platform (don't ask me how big, I'm terrible at that) where the KW's (did you know they are really dolphins????) would swim up and "slide out" of the water so we could see them...absolutely amazing. Michael has all the pics on his computer and will post them soon. So, Friday we opened and closed the park and the kids were great...Jack napped in the sling and Samantha just trudged right along. What troopers!

Saturday was another early start, 8 am and we toured the park with a guide and saw and did all kinds of things: fed dolphins, sea lions, and sting rays; petted wallabies, lizard-things, sharks, dolphins, etc, etc, etc. Super fun, but the kids were done before the tour was done so it got a bit icky at the end, but oh well.

The one thing we learned from this trip is that Samantha is a roller-coaster MANIAC! Our tour passes enabled us to go up the exit side to ride rides, so she and I rode the "Texas Splashdown" and I was more scared than she. Although, I will have to say that park of my fear was because of my own stupidity...she climbed in the back of the boat all by herself and I let her stay there. So the whole time she's back there riding (having the time of her life) with no seat belt and I am scared to death that my four year old is going to let go and fly out. Not one of my brighter "Mommy moments" to say the least.

Lastly, here's a link to my newest, favoritest songs: Natasha Bedingfield's Unwritten.

Monday, March 12, 2007

We made it!

Just wanted to say I have awesome kids! We (the three of us) left Houston at 4 am and rolled into Grandparents house in KS at 5:30 pm. No stops after lunch except to pee-pee in the grass (she totally freaked, but then realized her choices so we made it she's soooo proud!).

Thanks, Dora and were a BIG help today! :)

Later taters!

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Well, we aren't totally better, but by the end of the night I could say, I think he is feeling better. Some toast and tortilla for supper and nothing before that...should be interesting to see what time he gets up to eat in the morning! I should WAY go to bed now! :)


Friday, March 02, 2007

Better so far!

Well, he had a great night's sleep and has kept all of the Pedialyte down that we've given him. Somehow after all that throwing up he did yesterday, he had a pee-pee diaper this morning. Amazing!

He's already back to bed, so I am hoping that he'll have a great day of lots of naps. I think that will really help.

Daddy stayed home today, so he and Samantha are going to have a great Daddy/Daughter day. Yeah for them, but I'm a little jealous! :)

Later taters!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Sick again...

But at least it's something new, right? Now the boy has a stomach virus, but luckily (as the nurse pointed out tonight) he's throwing up and not having diarrhea, which is MUCH harder to control and cure. I have to agree with her, but when he's crying, punching, pulling hair and yelling, "I wunt drink!" it's very hard to resist giving him what he wants.

I think this evening he was just so tired that any movement just sent him into another episode of vomiting, so I just got his jammies on as quick as I could and laid him straight down. He didn't mind at all.

Samantha is in our room on her special blue bed so we'll see if any of us get any sleep tonight. I can still hear Samantha up in our room movin' and a groovin'.

Later taters!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Monday tid bits

This weekend we made a very large and very unexpected purchase...a whirlpool cabrio washing machine. Our still-very-new front loader had a computer relay die and so we would have had to replaced a $450 motor/computer for a $475 washer. The Cabrio was NOT what we were looking for when we went, but it seemed to make sense for the long term. So far we like it!

Jack's new stuff: "Was your name?" "Who's dat?" "Wha she say?" The last two are after I get off the phone with someone. Also, this is completely new to us and I am not sure where he heard this, but the phrase is "I not a BABY!" and he says it with such feeling that you really feel like he's been offended by whatever you did. Sometimes he uses it at appropriate times, like at the supper table if I hand him a bite instead of letting him get it himself, but sometimes he doesn't use it appropriately so I am not sure if he has any clue as to what he's saying.

Samantha is fascinated with helping Mommy fold clothes. Today it was Jack pajama pants that we worked on and she did great after I figured out that she needed to lay it down on the floor so she could see what she was doing. And she's working on getting things on hangers and hanging them in her closet. She's excellent at putting overall she is an awesome laundry helper and now that I have a reliable washer we should put a major damage in the laundry category.

Yesterday I got hit with some sort of stomach bug. It really knocked me on my booty: major body aches and they tingley feeling when your skin just hurts. Today wasn't soo bad although I felt so sore in my torso that you'd have thought I spent the day throwing up. It was such a BEAUTIFUL day that we went to the zoo with our friends from church and had a wonderful time looking at snakes, baby giraffes and elephants, and fish. I didn't overdue it today, but I certainly was grateful for the 2 hour nap the kids took! :)

That's all for tonight! Later taters!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

For fear of being flogged with a wet noodle...

...I'm going to blog. Thanks AJ for the kick in the pants!

This spring and summer is shaping up to be quite the traveling time for us. The kids and I drove to NW Arkansas for our nephew's two year old birthday. We had an AWESOME time together with Michael's family. Probably the second best thing of the whole trip was spending the night in Dallas at an Embassy Suites...thanks again, Uncle Matt!!! It was an amazing much so that we had to take a walk around (9:00 p.m.) and see the fish ponds and "Ooooh" and "Ahhh" appropriately. It was fun!

The kids have spring break March 12-16th so we are planning on driving to KS City to visit RoRo and PawPaw (Michael's folks). The following week we'll go to San Antonio for our first "Just the four of us" trip...we are headed to Sea World and we're going to get to feed the dolphins, have a special pre-open tour, and we're going to eat beside the whales one night for dinner!!

Then our fitness forum is having a summit in April in Little Rock. May will take Michael away from us for a trip to Myrtle Beach to play golf with work buddies. June will leave us at home, and then in July we're going on the Wilson's 29th annual family vacation in Osage Beach, MO.

Wow! That makes me tired just typing all that!! Thank goodness for the DVD players that we bought for the van at christmas!!!

On the baseball batting cages of Westbury high school, sits gang graffiti. It hasn't been there 1 day, not 1 week, not 1 month, but VERY CLOSE to 2 MONTHS. I have called 311 (Houston's help center), the school directly-TWICE, and have spoken with one of the Houston ISD police officers about when it will be removed. I have spoken to our city council woman's chief of staff. And still it sits.

I was aggravated before, but since the woman at the school told me that "that student's death hasn't been ruled 'gang related'" I have become quite livid about the whole situation. I am certain that Mr. Ruiz would NOT be pleased at the lacidazical manor that this is being handled in. If need be, I believe that I can call Cynthia Cisneros and maybe she could help me get some attention and focus on this.

Our city council representative was supposed to have a meeting today with Principal Coleman and the police at our neighborhood police store front. Hopefully, I'll hear from her chief of staff tomorrow.

Wow! This kid is growing leaps and bounds! The thing that has impressed me most is seeing her calculating certain things in her head. For instance, holding her jacket or backpack she calculates which arm needs to go in which hole for it to fight right. Amazing! I know it seems small, but watching her process the reversing process in her mind is fascinating.

And we've made a decision about what to do for her schooling. We're going to leave her where she is for the 07-08 school year and then in January of 08 we'll start the "Magnet" process to get her into the school that she wants. Whew! This is loads off my mind!!

The best news about Jack is that he's sleeping again! On our trip this past weekend, he and Samantha had such a good time sleeping side-by-side that I decided to give them a try sleeping together at home. It seems to be working like a charm. His ears are also clear (finally) so sharing a room may have nothing to do with his better sleep...but who's going to look a gift horse in the mouth? Not me! :)

His new favorite thing is "Whas dat?" We are really enjoying teaching him about his world!

The Rodeo
Every year the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo are a HYOOOGGGE event, and it starts next weekend. With the way our kids LOOOVE animals, we'll probably end up buying season passes for Samantha and me (Jack's free) and make it a weekly trip.

People come from all over the country doing "trail rides" and land in our backyard (literally, they stay on the baseball fields behind our house) on this evening. Tonight we took a walk after supper to see the horses and all the people. Needless to say, I think the kids will sleep well tonight!

Well, I think I am working on a blister on my left hand from all this typing, so I am signing off for tonight! :)

Later taters!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Jack's new words/sentances/communications

  • "I unt to go." Where, you ask? "Show me," he says as he walks off with a parent in tow.
  • "Noot naks" = Fruit snacks
  • "I unt to hold you."
  • "Coo-Coos" = Blues Clues
  • "I shoot" and "my turn" all related to "baketball"
  • "Tratter ride" "Tratter key" = Tractor ride and tractor key

Can I just tell you that I looooove communication? There's just so much more you can do with a kid that can communicate!


Samantha's prayers

Sometimes she says the funniest things and tonight it was this:

"Dear God, thank you for Jack's virus and thank you for medicine that isn't working. Please help it to do something. Amen"

She obviously heard me talking to the doc today, complaining that the decongestant was decongesting anything. She is so observant and very clearly mimics Mommy, some days that is good and some days (today) not so good.

Exercising is really helping me with my mood and confidence. I like to lift heavy stuff...I do it all day with Jack already, but the focused, purposful lifting is rewarding, too.


Monday, January 15, 2007

Everyone's better! Yeah!

Jack and I are doing much better (except for the little cold he has)!

Today at swimming (we normally swim on Wednesday, but we've added another class for Samantha so that she can finally clear a hurdle she's been struggling with for a while), Jack saw his Wednesday teacher and kept saying: "I unt bow bubble wit Sondra" and at the end: "Bubble wit Sondra Wedday."

As you can see, he is really talking up a storm. Another popular saying is: "I unt da Mommy/Daddy."

Hope all my friends and family in cyberspace are doing well out there. It's getting cold here! FINALLY!!!

"See ya!" <-- Another new Jack sentance.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Jack's fall

Well, today at Sam's Jack decided to take a header out of the shopping cart! never again will he ride in the back of the basket; Samantha NEVER rode back there until she was at least 3, and now Jack will be under the same rules. I immediately took him to the Doctor who looked him over good and said he thought he would be ok. We are supposed to keep watch over him for a good 24 hours waking him every 1-2 hours while asleep. We may not do it that often, but we'll definitely be checking in several times. He didn't lose consciousness or vomit which are all really good signs. Here's pics of his boo-boo...we actually didn't see it until bathtime--neither did the doc.

Picture time

These are from our anniversary on Tuesday:

My work over the past month
These are the new shelves that I put up in our bathroom:

This is the new drawers I put in our upstairs closet. There will be linens in there ASAP!

The following pictures are from the downstairs:
Harry Potter closet

Shelves between two book shelves, they used to be covered with "stuff" that's now located in the Potter closet! Yahoo!

My Sid Dickens tiles; see how odd it looks with the big hole on the right?? :)

I think I've really hurt myself

Yesterday as I was playing "organizing" in my closet, I bent over to put a drawer in (no worries AJ, pics will be coming soon; thanks for the idea) and it was like my SI joint gave way and I collapsed forward. I didn't fall down, because my gut instinct was to stand straight up and so I did. The pain was over a few seconds after I stood up, but the desire to throw up continued for a few minutes. I was able to move all day and most of the evening, but I got really stiff and sore in bed...the ibuprofen didn't seem to do anything. This morning I'm ok if I don't move...not good seeing as my day job requires constat movement. :)

Hopefully over the weekend it'll get better and I can be back in the gym monday morning! I had been soooo good this week to go and exercise!

Later taters!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Change 12 things and you'll change your life

Well, I am WELL on my way to changing my life (not that I thought it was bad) after this week. The Container Store puts its elfa storage systems on sale for a while each January and I have been doing serious damage to our bank account there this week! Our "Harry Potter" closet downstairs has had its useless shelves ripped out (I got to do the demolition! woo hoo!) and have replaced them with elfa drawers...MUCH BETTER!!!!! Now we have art supplies drawers, electronic stuff drawers,etc. I love it!

Upstairs has had the following changes:

  • We're taking out Jack's changing table and I've installed two acryllic shelves to hold diapers/wipes and toiletries.
  • We've removed the bottom shelf in our hall closet so that the filing cabinet slides back and I can get the vaccum and ironing board in too!
  • Next for the hall closet is installing a drawer on one of the shelves that will slides out, so that I can store linens and not have to pull all the stuff out to get something in the back.
  • I installed a new towel hook in the kids bathroom and need to get one more so it will be balanced.
  • I installed a new hook row of hooks to hang baseball caps.
  • I bought some hooks for the hats in Samantha's closet.

And I finally hung the Sid Dickens tile that Michael gave me for my birthday (July)! Too bad it left an asymmetrical whole on the wall that's gonna need to be filled! :)

I still have a small list to purchase at the Container Store, but it's small...or maybe medium.

I started exercising again today! Yeah for me! It's gonna take some getting used to for Jack. I gathered that he cried the entire time I was away today--20 minutes. So, we'll just ease back into a routine so that the DOMS aren't too bad for me and the seperation is too bad for him. Samantha loves going to the Y 'cause they have looots of cool dress up dresses.

Kiddos took GREAT naps today so Mommy got some rest too!

Tomorrow, Michael and I celebrate 8 years of marriage. This past year has been the hardest on each of us, but I think our marriage has been better in '06 than any other. Michael, I love you and the family we have created together. I love our life, and everyday I am glad that I chose you. Your humor and smile keep us going when we think we might collapse in tears and your strenght of character is a beauty to behold. Thanks for your loving arms that surround us with grace and mercy and bring us closer to God each day. You're my man and I am so proud of you!

Later taters!